English Premier League focusing on Asian marketplace
2015-10-26 13:53:00

The United Kingdom prides itself on being the home of modern football, and the English Premier League is one of the sport's most successful organizations. So with Chinese President Xi Jinping heading to Manchester on the latest leg of his State Visit to the U.K., both sides are already cooperating on ways to further develop the game and cultivate new fans.

 

Over the past five years, the sports industry in the United Kingdom has continued to outdo itself, exceeding 20 billion pounds in revenue, while becoming one of the country's Top 15 economic sectors. Leading the way is the English

 

Premier League, with perennial title contenders Arsenal turning a profit of 350 million pounds last season. Television has also helped the Gunners achieve tremendous international popularity, and the club's recent fan registration drive in China soared past the 10-thousand mark in less than three weeks.

 

The EPL is now one of the most profitable leagues in Europe, and Asian markets have become increasingly important to the Premiership, with China's large population giving the nation incredible fanbase potential, leading major stars to begin interacting with fans through the internet, especially during traditional holidays.

 

Football exchanges between the two sides have also increased in frequency in recent years, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong hosting a conference on ways to further bolster the sport through bilateral efforts while visiting the UK last month. Both sides reaffirmed plans for their governments to collaborate by helping promote their respective professional leagues, while officially cementing further cooperation in youth football development projects.

 

Former England captain David Beckham is a de facto sports envoy between the two countries, as he was named the CSL's Global Ambassador two years ago, and when youth players from the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation traveled to the UK last October, the retired icon reiterated his commitment to a series of ongoing development efforts.

 

Manchester City, whose Etihad Stadium is one of the stops on President Xi Jinping's itinerary during his visit to the UK, also has great interest in China, and the pitch at the team's training academy hosted a warm-up match for the

 

Women's World Cup between the PRC and Three Lionesses this past spring. On the men's side, the Citizens made Sun Jihai the English Premier League's first Chinese player 13 years ago. And now the entire EPL seems to be eagerly anticipating the next.

Source:CCTV.com Editor:Rose